‘The Nun’ Movie Review – 31 Days of Halloween #3

Hey guys!

Day three of my 31 Days of Halloween series and I’m still going strong! I’m going to be honest, I definitely underestimated how stressful this was all going to be but hey, I’ll make it work 🙂 If you like the posts I’m making, definitely let me know in the comments below or send me a DM on twitter – @Eerie_Unsolved

But without further ado guys,

Let’s get into this post!


When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorised audiences in ‘The Conjuring 2’, as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

Released on September 7 2018, ‘The Nun’ was set to be the most popular horror movie of the year. However, it’s shortcomings in comparison to its predecessors in ‘The Conjuring’ franchise has led to a lot of bad reviews and overall rating scores of 5.7/10 on IMDB and 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Despite reeling in $58,807,379 during it’s opening weekend alone and earning itself the title of the most successful movie in the franchise, ‘The Nun’ has left many movie buffs disappointed by what has been described many a time as the worst installment in the franchise so far.

I saw this film the day it was released with mixed ideas about what to expect. I really enjoyed ‘The Conjuring 2’ but didn’t enjoy ‘The Conjuring’ and hadn’t seen ‘Annabelle’ or ‘Anabelle: Creation’ so I had torn opinions about how ‘The Nun’ was going to perform, but I held out hope. Although there was some plot and character development, the movie overall felt flat to me, like it was missing the James Wan Touch which had been sprinkled throughout the other films in the franchise. I think the main thing to take away here is that this movie is a Marmite movie – you either love it or you hate it.

But let’s start with the positives of the film…

The location where the movie is set, an abbey in Romania, is a beautiful place and kudos must be given to the location scout who found such a place. The abbey itself is wondrous, looming over the village below. Set within the confines of the Abbey of St Carta, the movie was filmed at different locations throughout Gothic Romania and the overall location of the movie is beautiful.

A haunted Abbey in Transylvania. The chilling legends of ...
Abbey of St. Carta

The cast of the movie was very good – Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga and Jonas Bloquet – and they portrayed their characters very well. Although the script-writing and lack of plot development dragged the film down a lot, the acting can’t be faulted as I feel that the cast did a very good job.

Also, I loved how the ending of the film kind of went full circle and linked back to the first Conjuring movie. I thought it was a very clever way to wrap the movie up and I think everyone in the cinema thought the same as me as there was a collective gasp at the moment of realisation – I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone is thinking of watching the movie.

Another thing I would like to note is that the soundtrack of the movie is bone-chillingly beautiful. Composed by Abel Korzeniowski, the instrumentals are perfectly timed and the compositions themselves are haunting. In fact, I actually like to listen to the soundtrack of ‘The Nun’ when I’m studying or writing. In fact, if you haven’t had the chance to listen to the score yet, do it now. I’ll even link it down below for you!

Now, however, we’re going to get onto the negatives of the movie…which there are a lot more of.

I think the main downfall of this movie is that there is virtually no worthwhile plot. I know that might sound rude as I’m not a screenwriter and I don’t know what makes a good script but as an audience member, I think it is fair to say that I didn’t understand why a lot of the movie happened and what it meant.

I know that might sound a bit strange but there were many plot points that were touched upon but were not fully explored. For example, it is never fully explained why the Vatican chose to send Sister Irene to the abbey with Father Burke, out of everyone available. It is also never explained if Father Burke gets any closure about the failed exorcism he had been a part of. There are many points that could have been developed into some really good sub-plots but they were pretty much glossed over and never spoken of again.

Not only this, but a lot of the movie was predictable. Maybe I just know the cliches of horror too much but I knew when there were going to be jump scares and even then, they didn’t scare me. Well, not for the actual horror aspect anyway. If they did make me jump, it was because of loud shrieks and wails that were extremely loud.

In addition, the film, although advertised as an origins story of the Nun, never actually explained how she came to be. Instead, at the start of the movie, the Nun already existed and what we saw was the first battle against her. I felt quite cheated by this as I was expecting a movie that explained how the Nun came into existence and how she became attached to the Warren’s but no such story was proposed; I was quite disappointed by this.

I feel as if the movie relied too heavily on jump scares and that this is where the movie lost it’s James Wan Touch. There was hardly and atmospheric build-up to the scares and when there was, it was so small that it almost wasn’t worth it. These repeated techniques of causing fear also lead to the final showdown between the characters and the Nun pretty boring to watch.

Throughout the film, there were moments where the Nun would appear with the perfect opportunity to kill the characters but instead, it was almost as if she chose to play practical jokes on them to spook them before disappearing for the next five to ten minutes. This meant that by the time the final act rolled around and our main characters were confronted with the Nun once again, there was no sense of jeopardy as the audience mostly felt that it was going to be anti-climatic and were just hoping for the film to hurry up and end.

I think another reason that the audience didn’t really care about the outcome of the film is because the characters were pretty stereotypical and there wasn’t a lot of defining development to make them relatable or to make people care.

The first character we were introduced to was Father Burke. All the information we had on him was that he was basically a demonologist who dealt with ‘miracles’ and that a few years prior, he had been a part of a failed exorcism that had caused the death of a young boy named Daniel (although this isn’t addressed until about halfway through the movie). During the runtime of the film, we don’t really a lot more information about him and it is a shame as I felt as though his back story could have made for an interesting sub-plot as the Nun causes him to hallucinate and see the ghost of the boy who died. I can imagine a story where, whilst confronting everything that is occurring at the Abbey, Father Burke finally gets closure about his role in the death of the young boy and realises that there was nothing he could have done. But despite this being a good idea, there was nothing of the sort even addressed in the film and I feel like it was such a shame and waste of possibility.

The second character we were introduced to was Sister Irene, a young woman how was preparing to take her vows but hadn’t got to by the time of the movie. The first question raised about Irene is why the Vatican chose to send her with Father Burke to the abbey, although she wasn’t technically associated with them. Further into the film, we learn that she has visions of things to come, almost as premonitions/warnings, but again, why she has these is left unexplored.

The final character I wish to talk about is Frenchie. He is the comic relief of the film and although he is supposed to lighten the mood, it seems to be the only thing he does. Besides his witty one liners and pursuit of Irene, he doesn’t get a lot of other screen time or lines. With him having so much knowledge about the abbey and the occurrences there, there was great opportunity to mould him into a fan-favourite and although, in my eyes, he achieved that through his charming and charismatic ‘personality’, I feel like he was also underdeveloped and could have been something a lot better.

The dialogue in the movie was also very strained and not very realistic. I know its is supposed to be a horror movie but as with any movie, dialogue is a major aspect of making people care for characters and thus, root for a good ending. I loved the portrayal of the Warrens’ in the first 2 films in the franchise and the dialogue and the character development of the pair made the audience care for them and their outcomes.

Overall, I felt a little bit cheated by the movie as it seemed that the audience missed out on so much.

I would rate this film a 4 out of 10.

Thanks for reading guys, I hope you’re enjoying my 31 Days of Halloween series. If you have any thoughts or comments, don’t be scared to put them down below or DM me on Twitter – @Eerie_Unsolved


Sources:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5814060/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_nun_2018

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Shadow People – 31 Days of Halloween #2

Hey guys!

So it’s day two of my ’31 Days of Halloween’ series.

I would love to hear your opinions about my posts in the comments section down below or via a DM on Twitter – @Eerie_Unsolved.

If you like what you’re reading, be sure to click that follow button in the bottom right corner to be updated every time I post.

But without further ado,

Let’s jump into this post!


Shadow figures.

Often seen from the corner of your eye, shadow figures are described exactly as you would imagine – humanoid-shaped, sometimes three dimensional, black, shadowy masses. These dark silhouettes are often described as male and some are even reported to have fiery red glowing eyes.

Most of these apparitions are harmless and prefer to watch individuals unseen, fleeing at the moment they are seen. Others, on the other hand, bring with them a menacing and malevolent atmosphere.

Reports of shadow figures have been documented all around the world, with an increase in these sightings over the last five-ten years although there is anecdotal evidence of these beings stretches back throughout history.

One of the most disturbing features of shadow figures is that they are often described as having no discernible features and are often described as noting more than a figure, with no further information known.

There are many theories about what shadow figures are, both scientific and non-scientific.

Scientific #1 – Hypnoagagia/Hypnopompia

Reports of shadow figures often carry some similarities with the symptoms of sleep paralysis. For example, many witnesses are in bed at the time of the encounter and have often just woken up or are just falling to sleep. One theory that science proposes is that shadow figures are mos likely to be witnessed at this time due to the individual being in either a hypnoagagia or hypnopompia state. Hypnoagagic state occure just before an individual falls asleep and the hypnopompic state occurs just after they have woken up. The natural processes of the human sleep cycle incorporate an automatic paralysis serving as a deterrent from individuals physically acting out their dreams. The temporary and unpleasant feelings of sleep paralysis can occur when this automatic behaviour either sets in too early or lasts longer that usual. This means that the person is fully aware of their surroundings and yet are completely unable to move. It is also believed that they can see images from their subconscious in their conscious spaces and as such, it isn’t too far fetched to believe that this is where some encounters with shadow figures occur.

Non-Scientific #1

All religions seem to have their own interpretations of shadow figures. In Christianity, they are referred to as demons, in Islam, they are called Djinn and in American Indian beliefs, they are named Sgili. The fact that they are reported in holy scriptures lends to the idea that shadow figures have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Although it is not clear what they exactly are, many people have reported seeing them and the fact that they are in almost all religions’ Holy Books means that their existence is commonly accepted.

Scientific #2

Perhaps shadow figures are simply a result of pareidolia. Many people who encounter shadow figures have said that they witnessed them from the corner of their eye. This area of vision has been determined to be connected with an area of the brain whose main function is to detect and identify familiar patterns. This means hat this part of vision is trying to identify faces and simple, recognisable shapes, such as figures. Although most of these figures may turn out to be a pattern in the light and shadows, they may also be the ‘real’ thing.

Non-Scientific #2

Many believe that shadow figures are not negative energies at all but that they are rather guardians, sent to protect individuals or warn them of upcoming bad fortune. I have heard many stories where and individual would see a shadow figure only to have something negative happen to them afterwards. This suggests to me that, instead of being the cause of the negative event, the figures were in fact trying to warn the individual of the bad luck that was around them.

Stories

I put a Tweet up asking people for their experiences with shadow figures and received a lot of replies. I have picked out my favourite stories and am putting them down below. Each author will have their Twitter and YouTube (if applicable) linked above their story.

1. Paranormal Christine

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCkIGY6CQou5wdWz19z_zCg

The most memorable experience I had was about five years ago. We just moved int a new house and hadn’t had any experiences. One day I was sitting in the dining room, talking to my cousin on the phone. It was pretty late at night, so there were no lights peeking through the blinds that would cast a shadow. I noticed a shadow figure walk from the very start of the wall to the middle of the floor before disappearing. Even though whatever I witnessed didn’t seem to notice me, it startled me. Whatever it was, didn’t seem to be a shadow from outside. The blinds were closed and it was too dark. It also seemed to be more of a 3-dimensional shape. I thought maybe it was a residual energy but some of my subscribers thought it could be a spirit just passing by.

2. Brittany Grimes

https://www.youtube.com/brittanyreading

Heeyyy. Soooo… I think the SCARIEST experience I ever had was I was really sick (I was like 15-16) and I shared a room with my two sisters. Our closet had a portal thing in it and we were well aware. So. My bed was in front of the closet, between my bed and the closet, there was a box fan (the fan is really important to this story). Outside of our bedroom, was another bedroom (it used to be mine but the insulation sucked and I was either too hot or too cold). We always slept with our bedroom door opened a cracked. Okay, now that I got the background all set, like I said, I was sick and was tossing and turning. I looked at my iPod around 3 am and I was like crap… I need sleep. So. I lay back down and I’m slowly drifting and I feel my blanket move like someone walked past. So I yelled at my sisters and told them to go to sleep, opened my eyes and the bedroom door was open about 10 inches and I caught a glimpse of a shadow of a person, I look back, they’re gone. Okay… this weird. It’s probably one of my sisters. NOPE. Both of them are passed out in their beds, snoring away. I’m a little creeped out but whatever. I’m laying in bed and I’m staring at the wall/ceiling and I see something moving out of the corner of my eye, I look, nothing’s there. At this point it’s full blown anxiety attack and I just start crying and I’m begging for this to stop. I lay back down, cover my head with my blanket and things seem to stop. So I uncover my head, still crying and I see another shadow walking across my room, when I look, it’s gone; BUT, remember that box fan? It moves about 4 inches forward and apart of the plastic breaks. After that happened, all I remember is passing out and when I woke up in the morning, my youngest sister was like “what happened to the fan?” She was only like 6 or so so I couldn’t tell her what happened, but I told my other sister who was like 12ish and she said that she’s experienced the same type of stuff when it was just those two in the room.

3. Rhiannon

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFWSqZttQyn8yqkC_3kuIA

I used to live in an old duplex that was built somewhere around the 30s I believe. It was full of creepy things, but the shadow figures were very disturbing. I believe there were four spirits or entities in the house, three were young boys, and the other was their father. The boys’ shadow figures would do playful things like poke the heads around the corner and disappear when i looked at them directly, which wasn’t terrifying, but mostly confusing. I was a young child myself while this all occurred. Their father was a large black mass that would stalk me at night and I think his spirit liked our hall closet, because I had this sinking feeling every time I walked past it. I woke up one night to the father standing over my bed staring at me I’m guessing, and it was horrifying to 10 year old me. The previous renters had a schizophrenic son, but considering everything that I experienced at that place, I question whether or not he was actually schizophrenic.

4. The Haunted Broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/thehauntedbroadcast

I saw your tweet about shadow figures and thought I’d drop you a message about my experience. It’s probably not much compare to the others you’ll get, but I’ll share anyway. I live in an old rectory. We have the usual knocks, bangs, taps turning themselves on and doors opening. I grew up around this stuff so it doesn’t really bother me and I don’t think twice about it. A little room layout here. Once you open the front door, you have a small room for coats and shoes, a toilet to your right, a library to the left and a hallway in front of you. I had just come home from a late shift, it was around 10:50pm and t here was one light on in the hallway so was pretty dark. After I took my shoes off I looked up at the library door. It was half way open and a shadow figure of a man stood there, peaking round the door. I could see one of his legs, an arm, half a torso and a head. I saw a glint, the same you would get if your glasses caught the light. It took me a moment to realise what I was seeing. I’ve had many paranormal experiences, but I’d never seen a shadow figure before. One I realised I thought “Oh shit!” As soon as I thought that, the figure darted back into the room as if it had thought that same. I turned the light on and looked inside only to find the room empty. There are no other exits in the library.

And that’s all I have to say today guys. I know that this one wasn’t as in depth as my post yesterday but I enjoyed the fact that I got to hear some of YOUR stories.

Thank you so much for reading guys and until next time,

Stay Eerie!


Sources:

https://www.beyondsciencetv.com/2017/07/25/the-mysterious-shadow-people/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_person

http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2012/03/the-lurking-shadow-people/

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4175

https://www.thoughtco.com/shadow-people-2596772

http://www.greatest-unsolved-mysteries.com/shadow-people.html

http://www.higherjourneys.com/shadow-people-paranormal-or-normal-reality/

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march142010/crossroads.php

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/mystery-shadow-people

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2552427/pdf/jnma00036-0033.pdf

The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam – 31 Days of Halloween #1

Hey guys!

Happy October! 30 days until Halloween; I’m super excited!

Every day of this month, I am going to be uploading a new blog post. There will be some true crime, some personal experiences and even some movie reviews so I’m sure that you’ll find at least one post that you like.

Before you read any further, if you don’t already, I would appreciate it if you could hit that follow button in the bottom right corner and enter your email so that you are notified every time I upload a new post; it would mean so much to me.

But without further ado, Happy October folks,

Let’s jump into this post…


The Case

Elisa Lam was a 21-year-old Canadian student studying in Vancouver.

In January 2013, she left Canada to ‘tour’ numerous cities on the West coast of the United States.

Her travels began in San Diego, where she visited the city zoo and wrote about the experience on her Tumblr blog. From there, she moved on to Los Angeles on January 26 and checked into the Cecil Hotel, intending to stay there for five days and then continue on her travels to Santa Cruz.

However, on this day, January 31st, Lam’s parents did not receive their customary daily phone call from their daughter and, finding this uncharacteristic of Lam, they contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and reported her disappearance.

During further investigation, hotel staff said that she was alone on the morning of her disappearance. The manager of a local bookstore, who was the last person to have seen Lam alive, described her as ‘outgoing, very lively, very friendly’. He stated that she had gone in to the shop to buy gifts for her family.

The police searched the hotel for her but with no definite evidence that a crime had been committed, they were acting on a limited search and found nothing.

On February 6, the LAPD posted flyers around the local community, urging anyone with any information on Lam’s disappearance to come forward and contact them, hoping to gain new leads. A week passed with no new information and it was at this point that the case took a turn for the bizarre.

On February 16, the LAPD released surveillance footage taken from the Cecil Hotel on February 1. The video, which has become the most talked about piece of evidence from the case, depicts Lam in one of the hotel’s elevators, acting in a rather strange manner.

While in the elevator, she peers outside, as if looking for someone and occasionally pushed herself up into one of the corners of the small confines, as if trying to avoid someone. The video also shows her pressing multiple buttons hurriedly and making erratic hand gestures. Before the video ends, she exits the elevator and the doors open and close multiple times before the video ends.

The video sparked numerous theories about what could have caused Lam’s disappearance including drug abuse, mental health issues and even demonic possession. It is believed, however, that the video had been altered at some point before it’s public release. Evidence of this is that the time-stamp is obscured, some parts of the video appear slowed down and nearly a minute of footage has supposedly been removed mid-video.

It was around the time of the release of the video that guests at the hotel were beginning to complain of discoloured water coming from taps and others claimed that the water tasted funny. One woman described the water as:

It had a very funny, sweet, disgusting taste. It’s a very strange taste. I can barely describe it.

Upon hearing these complaints, hotel employees investigated the rooftop water tanks in order to try and find the cause of the water disturbances. What they found instead, however, in one of the water tanks, completely naked, was Lam’s body.

An autopsy of Lam’s body found no traces of trauma or sexual assault, no traces of illicit drugs and evidence that Lam had committed suicide. Eventually, the cause of death was settled as accidental drowning, however this conclusion raised more questions than it answered.

After this, the investigation ceased but there are many vital questions that remain unanswered. For example, the water tanks were all 4 ft by 8 ft and were propped up on cement blocks with no easy access to them – hotel employees had to use a three-metre ladder to access the tank when they were investigating. Also, the lids on the tanks were heavy and difficult to displace. The lid of the tank Lam was found in was closed and there are many questions as to how she had managed to firstly open the lid and secondly, close it again after her.

The Toxicology Report

Lam’s family had stated that their daughter had suffered with bipolar disorder and that she was on multiple medications to help her cope. Finding her doctor’s files, police were able to compile a list of her prescribed medication, which included:

1. Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) – 2 10mg capsules

Dexedrine is a stimulant often prescribed for ADD/ADHD and narcolepsy.

2. Lamotrigine (Lamitical) – 100mg

Lamitical is an anti-convulsant and mood stabiliser often prescribed for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

3. Quetiapine (Seroquel) – 25mg

Seroquel is an atypical anti-psychotic prescribed for major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

4. Venlafaxine (Effexor) – 225mg

Effexor is an SNRI anti-depressant prescribed for major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social phobia.

5. Buporpion (Wellbutrin) – 300mg

Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant prescribed for depression and smoked cessation.

Two OTC medications were also found on the list:

  1. Advil – Ibuprofen, painkiller
  2. Sinutab – decongestant

Although it is a popular theory, it is unlikely that the toxicology report was affected by Lam’s prolonged stay in the water (3 weeks) as it was her bile, blood from her heart and her liver enzymes that were tested, which wouldn’t have been affected until about 6 weeks of decomposition.

Below is a brief list of the drugs that were found within Lam’s system during the toxicology tests and what implications this had on the case and any theories:

1. Venlafaxine was present in the blood and the enzymes tested – this suggests that Lam had had taken this medication the day she had died.

2. Bupropion metabolites were also present in the blood and enzyme tested – this suggests that Lam had also taken this drug recently prior to her death but not on the day itself as only the metabolites were detected, not the drug itself. It is important to note that Bupropion can also sometimes cause mania in bipolar disorder.

3. Quetiapine and it’s metabolites were not detected in any quantity meaning that she had not taken the medication recently.

4. Lamotrigine was found in very small amounts in blood, so much so, it is debatable whether it was present at all. However, traces were also found in the enzymes that were tested – this suggests that again, she had taken the medication but not on the day that she had died.

5. Her bile ethanol levels were 0.02g%, which is a normal amount.

6. Aside from this, no ethanol was detected meaning that she had consumed no alcohol prior to her death.

7. No obvious illegal drugs were found in her system. The tests scanned for marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, barbiturates, opiates and amphetamines. As the results came back clear, this also suggests that she hadn’t taken her Dexedrine recently either.

Conclusions that can be drawn form the toxicology report are that she had taken at least one antidepressant on the day of her death. It can also be concluded that she had taken a second anti-depressant and a mood stabiliser a short time prior to her death. It is also clear she had not taken her anti-psychotics recently. She had also not consumed or any alcohol and was not under the influence of mainstream drugs.

The Theories

Many believe that Lam was murdered although there is no evidence that leads to foul play and no one was sighted with her that night. Further speculation claim that the killer could have been a hotel employee who would have known where to stand so that they were not picked up by security cameras and would have easily blended in to the surroundings if spotted by someone. It is also not too far fetched that a murderer may have been in the hotel. The Cecil Hotel has attracted many serial killers over the years, including Rickard ‘The Night Stalker’ Ramirez and Jack Unterwerger. The theory of a creeper seems probable and is also supported by the security video of her frantically pressing the elevator buttons. Many police departments put out statements such as this one form the Tokyo Meteropoliton Police and it is likely that her parents would have imparted this wisdom before allowing their daughter to travel alone:

If, on the occasion that you find yourself riding in an elevator and feel afraid, regardless of how rude it may seem, immediately press all of the buttons and get out of the elevator at the next floor. If you wait until something happens, it is already too late.

Lam’s Tumblr blog had also spoke of ‘creepers’ in the hotel, which suggests that she was afraid and that she was being followed by someone.

A second theory is that the dark history of the hotel influenced the events. Below is a timeline of notable events that have happened over the years at the Cecil Hotel:

1947 – The body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was found in a field on south North Avenue between Coliseum and West 39th Street – a 20 minute walk from the hotel. The body had been cut in half, completely drained of blood, and given a ‘Cheshire Grin’. The Cecil Hotel was the last place that the aspiring actress had been seen alive and the murder was never solved.

1962 – Two women committed suicide at the hotel by jumping from the windows. 27-year-old Pauline Otton jumped from the ninth floor after an argument with her estranged husband and fell 90 feet, landing on a 65-year-old man who had been walking by – both were killed instantly. The second lady, named Julia Moore, jumped from the eighth floor in the same year. She didn’t leave a suicide note, just a bus ticket and a bankbook with $1800.

1985 – Richard Ramirez resided at the hotel, staying in a room on the top floor. He would leave the hotel at night, brutally butcher his victims, then remove his bloody clothes and dump them in the bins behind the hotel. After murdering 9-year-old Mei Leung, he even disposed of her body in the basement of the hotel.

1991 – Jack Unterwerger stayed at the hotel, posing as a true crime writer researching the murder of prostitutes. Hotel staff had no idea that he had slain seven prostitutes in Austria before moving to Los Angeles. He would lure prostitutes to the hotel, advising to use the back fire escape to avoid detection at the main desk, where he would then strangle them with their bras before dumping their bodies in nearby alleyways.

This theory states that either Lam had read too much into the dark history of the place or that the spirits of the dead had either driven her to suicide or that she became so overwhelmed that she felt it was the only way out.

In 2005, eight years before Lam’s death, a horror film titled ‘Dark Water’ was released. The movie depicts a young woman who had gone to a hotel, only to die and be found in one of the hotel’s water tanks. There were multiple similarities between the movie and the case, including:

The main character’s name in the film is Cecilia and the hotel Lam was staying in was called the Cecil Hotel.

The elevator video in the movie is placed in the exact same angle as the camera that recorded Lam’s final moments.

The girl in the movie gains access to the roof through a door which should have been locked and alarmed – this is the way it is believed that Lam found her way onto the roof.

Whilst less of a theory but more of a coincidence, this has circulated around the internet and it is very bizarre, almost as if the movie prophecised her death or that a murderer decided to pay homage to the film.

There is another, simpler theory that Lam’s death was caused by depression and suicidal thoughts, although this theory is the less believed. Lam’s blog can still be read online and the opening quote is by ‘Fight Club’ author Chuck Palahniuk:

You’re always haunted by the idea that you’re wasting your life

Lam often posted about feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts however police reported that there was no evidence that she had taken her own life or how she could have managed to do it. Also, it would have seemed a lot more logical for her to leap from the rooftop if suicide had been her plan.

And the final theory I will speak about, although not the last theory that there is, is that many conspiracy theorists claim that Lam did not exist at all and that the entire case was a fabrication to distract the public from a government-sponsored tuberculosis outbreak and testing. During the time of the case and not long afterwards, there was tuberculosis testing in the same area as the Cecil Hotel and this testing was called the Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay or LAM ELISA for short. It’s said that the case was made-up so that anyone searching LAM ELISA would instead see news about the case instead of the testing, which the government was trying to cover up or complete as discreetly as possible.


And there we have it guys, my first post for ’31 Days of Halloween’.

I know, it was super long, but I wanted to really dive deep into this case as it is one that has interested me for years.

Definitely tell me what you think about this case in the comments down below or DM me on twitter – @Eerie_Unsolved .

Thank you so much for reading and until next time,

Stay Eerie!


Sources:

https://www.historicmysteries.com/what-happened-to-elisa-lam/

https://crimeviral.com/2018/04/death-elisa-lam-5-theories-really-happened/

http://smashinglife.co.uk/4-theories-what-was-elisa-lam-doing-just-before-she-died-in-this-video/

resolved_elisa_lam_long_link_heavy/

The Soap-Maker of Correggio| Serial Killer Index #1

Twitter: @Eerie_Unsolved


Leonarda Cianciulli, better known as the ‘Soap-Maker of Correggio’, was an Italian serial killer active between 1939 and 1940. During this time, she murdered three women in a superstitious pursuit to protect her son, Guiseppe.

Cianciulli was born in Montella on April 14 1894. Not a lot is known about her early life but it is documented that whilst she was still young, Cianciulli tried to commit suicide twice, although her reasoning is unknown. In 1917, she married a registry office clerk name Raffaele Pansardi, despite the fact that her parents disapproved of the marriage as it had been aranged for Leonarda to marry somebody else.

The couple moved to Pansardi’s native town, Lauria, in 1921 and in 1927, Cianciulli was imprisoned for fraud. When she was released, the couple moved to Lacedonia. Unfortunately, their home was destroyed in an earthquake in 1930 and the pair moved again to Correggio, where Cianciulli opened a small shop. She was very popular and was well-respected within their neighbourhood.

Cianciulli had 17 pregnancies during her marriage but lost three to miscarriage and ten others died in their youth. Due to this, she was very protective of her surviving children. This fear was further fuelled by a warning she had received some years earlier from a fortune teller who told her she would marry and have children but that all of her children would die young. Reportedly, she visited another Romani, who practised palm reading, and it is claimed that she told Cianciulli:

In your right hand, I see prison; in your left, a criminal asylum.

In 1939, Cianciulli learnt that her eldest son, Guiseppe, was going to join the Italian army in preparation of World War Two. Guiseppe was her favourite child out of her four remaining kin and she was determined to protect him at all costs. Being superstitious, Cianciulli believed that the only way she could ensure his safety was through human sacrifice and thus, that is what she did.

Cianciulli’s first victim was a woman by the name of Faustina Setti. She had been a lifelong spinster and as it had been reported that Cianciulli was something of a fortune teller herself, Setti had visited her for advice about finding herself a husban. Cianciulli told her of a suitable husband in Pola but requested that nobody know where she was going. Instead, she persuaded Setti to write letters and postcards to relatives, which were to be mailed when she reached Pola to reassure them that everything as okay. Setti visited Cianciulli one last time before her departure and this is when Cianciulli gave her drugged wine and then killed her with an axe and dragged her body into a basin. When later questioned about the murder, Cianciulli said this about Setti’s demise:

I threw the pieces into a pot, added seven kilos of caustic soda, which I had bought to make soap, and stirred the mixture until the pieces dissolved in a thick, dark mush that I poured into several buckets and emptied in a nearby septic tank. As for the blood in the basin, I waited until it had coagulated, dried it in the oven, ground it and mixed it with flour, sugar, chocolate, milk and eggs, as well as a bit of margarine., kneading all the ingredients together. I made lots of crunchy tea cakes and served them to the ladies who came to visit, though Guiseppe and I also ate them.

It is claimed that Cianciulli claimed Setti’s life savings as payment for her services to the woman – 30 000 lire.

Cianciulli’s second victim was Francesca Soavi. Upon going to Cianciulli for advice, Cianciulli claimed to have found her a job at a girls’ school in Piancenza. Agin, though, Cianciulli requested that she did not tell anyone where she was headed and convinced Soavi to write postcards for friends and family, which would be sent from Correggio, detailing her plans. Soavi also visited Cianciulli before she was to leave and again, on 5 September 1940, Soavi was killed in the same manner as Setti. It is claimed that Cianciulli obtaned around 3 000 lire from her second victim.

Cianciulli’s final victim was Virginia Cacioppo, a former soprano singer who was said to have performed at La Scala. Cianciulli claimed to have found her work as a secretary and, as with Setti and Soavi, asked Cacioppo not to tell anyone. Cianciulli then murdered Virginia on 30 September 1940 however, instead of being used only in tea cakes, Cacioppo’s body was also melted and turned into soap:

She ended up in the pot, like the other two…her flesh was fat and white, when it had melted, I added a bottle of cologne, and after a long time on the boil I was able to make some most acceptable creamy soap. I gave bars to neighbours and acquaintances. The cakes, too, were better; that woman was really sweet.

Red flags were waved about Cianciulli by Cacioppo’s sister-in-law, who had grown suspicious about Cacioppo’s sudden disappearance. She reported her fears to the police of Reggio Emilia, who opened an investigation and shortly thereafter arrested Cianciulli.

Primarily, she did not confess to the murders but when the police began to believe that her son Guiseppe had been involved, she quickly confessed, trying to save her son from implications. She was tried in 1946 and remained unrepentant of her actions, even correcting the judge on some fact during the trial.

She grasped the witness-stand rail with oddly delicate hands and calmly set the prosecutor right on certain details. Her deep-set dark eyes gleamed with a wild inner pride as she concluded ‘I gave the copper ladle, which I used to skin the fat off the kettles, to my country, which was so badly in need of any metal during the last days of the war…’

Cianciulli was ultimately found guilty and was sentenced to thirty years in prison with three years in a criminal asylum – the same as the Romani had told her years prior. She eventually died of cerebral apoplexy in the women’s criminal asylum in Pozzuoli on October 15 1970.

Some artefacts from the case, including the murder weapons and the pot that the women were boiled in, are still on display in the Criminological Museum in Rome.

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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonarda_Cianciulli

http://murderpedia.org/female.C/c/cianciulli-leonarda.htm

https://allthatsinteresting.com/leonarda-cianciulli

‘Coraline’ Movie Theories – Part One

Hey guys!

So today’s post is going to be a bit more chatty and convoluted than usual as it is my first time making a movie theory post and I have A LOT to say.

If you have any suggestions for any other movies I should develop theories for or if you have any post suggestions you would like to share, definitely share them in the comments below. I am also still looking for YOUR true spook stories so be sure to send them to me via the comments down below, the contact page below, send me a DM on Twitter ( @Eerie_Unsolved ) or email them to me at eerieunsolved.stories@gmail.com.

Also, I know that I have been hyping up a ‘big announcement’ and I don’t know if it is as big to you as it is to me but I am planning on taking part in ’31 Days of Halloween’ this year, meaning that I am going to be uploading 31 posts through October, one for each day. They will be a mix-up of conspiracy theories, movie reviews, true crime and paranormal occurrences and I am sure that there will be at least one post that you will like. I can’t wait to share these posts with you and I think they’re going to be really cool, so definitely keep your eyes out for that.

If you enjoy this post, click the follow button and enter your email, confirm your email and boom, you will be informed every time I post a new post.

But without further ado, let’s jump into the post.


‘Coraline’ is a 2009 American stop-motion dark fantasy movie based on the book of the same name which was written by Neil Gaiman. It was produced by Laika and the screenplay was written and directed by Henry Sellick, with co-operation and approval by Gaiman himself.

It is one of my favourite films and one that I have seen countless times, finding something new in each viewing. About  six months ago, I stumbled across a video on YouTube from The Fangirl, a woman who has a 33 video series on ‘Coraline’ movie theories – which you should definitely check out – and from that point on, I was obssessed with the easter eggs and theories around the movie.

A lot of what I am going to be talking about today stems from her videos and I think they’re all absolutely amazing!

After binge watching these videos, I began to develop my own ideas about the film and I would love to share these theories with you.

Continue reading ‘Coraline’ Movie Theories – Part One

Dead Children’s Playground | Maple Hill Cemetery

Hi guys!

I know, I know, nearly a whole month without a post. A lot of you probably skip this bit but I just want to say that I have been very busy with other work and I placed my blog on the back burner for a while.

But now I am back and my posts are going to be regular now, every Sunday (hopefully) without fail.

If you don’t already follow my blog, just press the follow button on the bottom right of the screen and enter your email and verify the email that you receive; if you do that, you will be notified every time I upload a post. Also, if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, go and do that over at Eerie Unsolved.

Without further ado, however, let’s jump into this post.


Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the 100 acres of Maple Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of over 800,000 individuals.

Notable individuals who were buried in the cemetery include:

  • Governor Thomas Bibb (1782-1839)
  • U.S Senator John Williams Walker (1783-1823)
  • U.S Representative Clement Comer Clay (1789-1866)
  • Confederate Leader Richard Wilde Walker (1823-1874)
  • General LeRoy Pope Walker (1817-1884)
  • Woman Suffragist Priscilla Holmes Drake (1812-1892)

Despite a long history, however, Maple Hill is nothing but an average cemetery with expected reports of paranormal activity, such as orbs and cold spots. The hotspot of the cemetery is the unfortunately placed Drost Park.

Nicknamed the Dead Children’s Playground, Drost Park is said to be the most active spot of the cemetery with reports of ghostly giggles, swings swinging by themselves and and overall eerie feeling.

Despite the paranormal activity in the playground, the removal of the playground in 2007 caused such a local outcry that the playset was not only returned but all of the equipment was refurbished and re-installed.

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There are multiple legends surrounding the park. One legend says that the children come out to play between the hours of 10.00pm and 3.00am. Another says that bodies of four children who were abducted from the area in the 1960s were found where the park now sits.

Here is a story that I found online about one idividuals’ experience at the Dead Children’s Playground:

Hey, My name is Parker and I live in Huntsville, Alabama. I have lived in Huntsville all my life. I’m only 17, so I feel like some people will think since I’m young, I’m joking, but I’m not. So here’s my story.

All my life I have heard all these haunted rumours of the cemetery that I lived next to, and most of them seemed to be about the playground. I have been to the playground at night around 10 times and I haven’t seen or heard anything. I’d go there to experience things, because I’m very curious about the paranormal. I’ve been there by myself and with other people and most of the time we go at night. We would play on the swings and try to experience things, but never saw or heard anything. I do have a few things that have happened there though.

The first one is when my girlfriend and her best friend and I went there around 12:00 am and we got down to the swings and out of nowhere my girlfriend’s best friend started crying and having a panic attack, so we left and went home. Before we went there she claimed she could see dead people, but we just thought she was kidding.

The next time I was there it was just me and my girlfriend. We were there at around 11:00 pm and we went to the playground and played on the swings for fun. We eventually got tired and left the playground and went into the cemetery. I decided we should take a photo of a shot of about 50 off 100 graves in the picture. It was pitch black, so we used the flash. The picture came up with nothing though and after that we left. The next day at school, I was in class and my girlfriend texted me the picture and the same picture from last night showed 100’s of orbs on it. The photo is on my girlfriends phone and I currently don’t have it. I will upload it though in the future.

They do have tours at Maple Hill Cemetery and you should check it out sometime! They talk about the history and about some of the people that are buried there. Its also cool to check out, because they have about 50 buried unknown soldiers there from the civil war. Really awesome place to explore.

Thanks.

This story was uploaded on 23 June 2013 by sharkbaitX37  – all rights go to the original writer.

That’s about all I have to share with you this week guys.

I know this post was a sort of short one but at least I posted one, right?

Anyways, if you have a story that you would like to be featured in an upcoming series on my blog, do not hesitate to send it to me either as a comment on this post, as a DM on Twitter or by filling out the form below.

Thank you for reading guys!

Until next time,

Stay Eerie!


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_Hill_Cemetery_%28Huntsville,_Alabama%29

http://weekinweird.com/2016/06/09/dead-childrens-playground-is-a-haunted-park-hidden-inside-alabamas-largest-cemetery/ 

Blogger Recognition Award

Hey guys!

First off, I would like to apologise for not uploading this week. I’m not going to sit here and give excuses but I do want to say that I have been very busy researching my next blog post(s) which may or may not be a two parter.

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this post.

Twitter – Eerie_Unsolved

So without further ado, let’s jump into this post.


This week, I have been nominated by the wonderful kkatch22 for the Blogger Recognition Award.

This is the second award of it’s kind that I have been nominated for yet it is still very humbling to know that people actually read and enjoy the content I post.

I have been absent and patchy when it comes to uploading posts lately but it makes me feel better to know that people enjoy the content I already have on here.

So, the rules for this nomination are quite simple:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog – big thank you kkatch22 💛
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select up to 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. Comment on each blog to let them know you’ve nominated them and a link to the post you created.


Origin story:

This sounds very superhero-esque haha but unfortunately, the beginnings of Eerie Unsolved were not as dramatic as Spiderman or Captain America.

I’ve always been interested in dark and morbid subjects such as serial killers, true crime and the paranormal. One of my lifelong hobbies has always been writing too.

After seeing people making videos on Youtube sharing their interest in such subjects, I started looking into blogging and found that people blog about EVERYTHING.

So, I decided to start a blog to share my passion of these subjects with others out there who shared the same interests.

Clearly, as my readership has steadily but surely rose, my content is getting out to people who have a keen interest in it and that makes me happy beyond belief!


Advice for new bloggers:

1. Don’t try to fit a mould.

Every blog is different because every blogger is different. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Be yourself in your writing and the right readers will find you. And i guess that brings me onto my next point…

2. Don’t worry about your follower count.

As long as what you are doing is something that you enjoy, you shouldn’t worry about who finds your blog. If people can see that you believe in your own writing, they will share it. When I started this blog in November of 2017, I was obssessed with becoming as big as Youtubers such as Brittyy44 and Loeylane but I realised that by worrying about numbers, my writing had no personality. So I stopped caring about how many followers I had and started focusing on my content itself. And blogging has become much more enjoyable because of it…


My nominations:

1. Breaking Paranormal

2. widowcranky

3. JacyUnexplained13


Now, I’m going to go and tell my nominees that I have nominated them.

There’s a new post coming out on Sunday that is a true crime post so I hope you enjoy that!

But until next time guys,

Stay Eerie!

Ouijastitions


Today, I want to highlight some dos and don’ts around the Ouija board.

Now that it is summer, people are most likely looking for something to do to pass the time and, if they have even the remotest interest in the paranormal, chances are they are going to choose to play with a Ouija board.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to play with one because at the end of the day, it is your choice and I have no authority to tell you what to do so instead, I’m going to offer you some advice for playing with Ouija boards.

So, here are ten dos and don’ts when playing with Ouija boards

Keep Reading

Mike: The Chicken Who Lived Headless

Hey guys!

I know I have been absent for the past few weeks but I have had a lot of stuff going on including mock exams and the like (fun, I know). But after taking a break, I’m going to be frequenting my blog a lot more.

I am also thinking about doing a creepypasta reading series on here that would go up every Wednesday so definitely tell me if that is something you guys would be interested in.

Shameless plug, definitely go and follow me on Twitter over at @Eerie_Unsolved so that even when I am not posting on here, you can still see what I’m getting up to, vote on polls about my next blog posts, and send me suggestions on what I should post next.

But without further ado, let’s jump into the post.


On September 10 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen was sent to kill a chicken for supper. But when the axe came down on the young chicken’s head, it did not die and so ensued a year and a half of sideshow attraction and intrigue.

Keep Reading…

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Paranormal YouTuber Michael Scot!

Hey guys!

So, this post is going to be a little different to the content I usually post. Instead of me sitting here and telling you about something that had happened to someone, I’m going to let them tell you themselves – in the form of an interview!

So, I don’t really want to give too much away in this intro so without further ado, let’s jump into the post.


One Youtuber whose videos I have watched from almost the start of his channel is Michael Scot. His videos on the paranormal, ghosts, aliens and monsters are very entertaining and informative to watch and he is definitely someone who fuels my interest in the unknown.

So, imagine my shock and excitement when he liked a Tweet I posted, saying how much I was looking forward to his new video series. Now multiply that excitement by 1,000,000,000 and that is how I felt when he told me he had followed my Twitter (which, by the way, you can find over at @Eerie_Unsolved).

(I will be honest and admit that I did fangirl … quite a lot!)

In my reckless state of excitement, I sent him a Direct Message, asking if it would be possible for me to ask him a few questions and kind of interview him for my blog. After I had sent the message, I instantly regretted it and feared that I seemed way too eager and that he was going to dismiss the request as ‘just another fangirl’ sort of thing.

But he didn’t.

Instead, he replied and said that he was totally up for doing an interview so I sent him some questions and he took the time to sit down and answer them for me.

I really hope that you guys are as excited to read the answers to my questions as I am about sharing them with you guys.

This was an amazing opportunity and I hope that I will have the opportunity to interview more people that inspire me in the future.

But let’s jump into this interview

Keep Reading!

A Mix-Up of Mysteries, Conspiracie and All Things Spooky!